Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Young People, Risks, Challenges and Wellbeing

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Youth and Community Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will help students understand the main emotional, behavioural, social, and psychological challenges that adolescents in contemporary society go through. This study-unit will provide a general understanding of the current theoretical issues and research findings in the field of adolescence. Healthy adjustment to external variables will be compared to derailment and regression, specifically linked to the vulnerabilities of young persons. Resilience, vulnerabilities, protective and risk factors will be highlighted. An ecological perspective will also be presented. Specific challenges, their manifestation and impact on adolescents will be addressed.

Study-unit Aims:

The aims of the study-unit is to give a thorough and methodical introduction to healthy adjustment in young people within notions around vulnerabilities, protective and risk factors. It is also intended to highlight the ecological perspectives and socio-cultural influences. The study-unit will help students understand and classify challenges in young people by understanding affective disorders, suicidal behavior and self-harm, eating disorders, challenges to sexual development, losses, bereavement, parental separation, peer pressure and bullying.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Establish what the fundamental issues involved in addressing challenges to young people are;
2. Identify seminal and contemporary theories of resilience and risk;
3. Locate the different presentations which adolescent challenges can take;
4. Differentiate the main avenues of adolescent support.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Implement developmental outcomes on the basis of current behaviours;
2. Recognize emotional, psychological, social, and behavioural manifestations in developmentally appropriate terms;
3. Recognize maladjustment when working with young people;
4. Implement the mechanics of support when the adolescent is in crisis;
5. Recognize when it is required that individual is referred to the appropriate agency.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main text:

- Capuzzi, D., & Gross, D. R. (2014). Youth at risk: A preventive resource for counsellors, teachers, and parents (6th ed). New York: Wiley Publishers.
- lloy, L. B., Riskind, J.H., & Manos, M.J. (2005). Abnormal psychology: Current perspectives. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Davison, G.C., Neale, J.M., & Kring, M,A. (1996) Abnormal psychology. New York: Wiley. Available

Supplementary readings:

- Sue, D., Sue, D. W., Sue, D., & Sue, S. (2016). Understanding abnormal behaviour. Vancouver: Cengage Learning.
- Leather N.C. (2009), Risk-taking behaviour in adolescence: a literature review, Journal of Child Health Care, Vol. 13, No. 3, 295-304.
- Eisenman R. (2001), Creativity, Risk-Taking, Sex Difference, and Birth Order, Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, No. 22, 189-192.

Pack given out by lecturer throughout the course.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%


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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.